- a jumbling of radio signals, caused by the reception of undesired ones.
- the signals or device producing the incoherence.
- the act of a teammate or of teammates running ahead of a ball-carrier and blocking prospective tacklers out of the way: to run interference for the halfback.
- such a teammate or such teammates collectively: to follow one's interference.
- the act of illegally hindering an opponent from catching a forward pass or a kick.
- (in bilingualism and foreign-language learning) the overlapping of two languages.
- deviation from the norm of either language in such a situation.
Origin of interference
1783, formed irregularly from interfere on model of difference, etc. Broadcasting and telephoning sense is from 1887. In chess from 1913; in U.S. football from 1894.
The disturbance that results when two waves come together at a single point in space; the disturbance is the sum of the contribution of each wave. For example, if two crests of identical waves arrive together, the net disturbance will be twice as large as each incoming wave; if the crest of one wave arrives with the trough of another, there will be no disturbance at all.
Handle problems or help clear the way for another, as in The press secretary runs interference for the governor. This term comes from football, where it refers to the blocking of defensive players by offensive players to let the ball carrier advance. Its figurative use dates from the mid-1900s.